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Old June 3, 2014, 12:30 PM   #51
Mike Irwin
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"The '98 Mauser functioned quite well WITHOUT a magazine cut-off. How come our Springfield had to have one?"

Because some of our Ordnance people were left overs from the Civil War, and believed that only aimed fire commanded and directed by an officer was appropriate.

Have you ever heard the saying that the American Civil War was the first 20th century war fought with 18th century tactics?

In a lot of ways, it's a true statement.
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Old June 3, 2014, 12:33 PM   #52
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"The .276 Pedersen is a non-starter. Unless you have primary source verification that Pedersen had the same ideas in mind as the designers of the 7.92mm Kurz later did, I'm going to have to go with this being a retcon.

The articles I have read point towards the light cartridge, along with lubricated cases, being more about trying to get his rifle to work reasonably well without beating itself to death."

Wow. Where did you come up with that.

I NEVER claimed that Pedersen was the conceptual genius at the forefront of the revolution that would bring us cartridges like the 5.56.

I said his development was a step in the right direction, but people were too stupid to recognize it, so please quit cooking up things on your own that you THINK I said, when in fact I didn't say them at all.
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Old June 3, 2014, 12:43 PM   #53
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Oh, and Joe?

"Cool! Then you should be able to tell me who some of these visionaries were and what new intermediate cartridge weapons systems they proposed following on their WWI battlefield experiences."

I didn't give you the name of one of those visionaries who saw the uselessness of the full-sized battle rifle in trench warfare...

Well, uselessness is too strong a word... how about lack of utility....

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Old June 3, 2014, 01:18 PM   #54
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Why are you acting like I ****** in your LifeĀ®, Mikey?
I've known you on line at several boards for a lot of years, and while I never tire of your historical scholarship, your Paul Lynde imitation got old a while back.

Yes, I recognize Thompson. What's your point by bringing him up? The .45acp smg of such fame? The failed Thompson auto rifle that was contemporary with the Pedersen rifle? The smg variant that used a longer, more powerful .45 cartridge and never got much past prototype?

Maybe you'll be less dyspeptic if we clarify the discussion. I have been talking exclusively about intermediate rifle cartridges. Are you talking about that, too, or are you including anything less powerful than a .30-06 class cartridge as "visionary?"
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Old June 3, 2014, 01:34 PM   #55
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I've been MORE than clear in my statements, yet you're looking at them inventing things that you' THINK I've said.

Don't know why you're doing that, but I hope you're having fun.


"Yes, I recognize Thompson. What's your point by bringing him up?"

Facepalm.

Really? This VERY clear statement didn't make that clear?

"I didn't give you the name of one of those visionaries who saw the uselessness of the full-sized battle rifle in trench warfare..."

But even I admitted that uselessness is probably much to strong a word (did you miss that, too?)

Yes, Thompson was working on a battle rifle version (what would eventually become the Colt Monitor) in direct competition to John Browning.

But, as I said, he also saw the problems inherent with a full-size battlerifle being used in trench warfare.

Hell, even the Army saw that, which is one of the reasons why they issued the Model 1897 trench gun.


"I've known you on line at several boards for a lot of years"

OK, to be 100% honest, I have no clue who you are, and I'll take your word for it that we've crossed paths before. My apologies for not remembering you.
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Old June 3, 2014, 01:40 PM   #56
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You know, Mike, we're done here. Finding out what you know and what your opinions are isn't worth putting up with your bullsh*t.
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Old June 3, 2014, 01:48 PM   #57
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"You know, Mike, we're done here. Finding out what you know and what your opinions are isn't worth putting up with your bullsh*t."

How can you do that when you claim that I'm saying things that I've never said?
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Old June 3, 2014, 06:02 PM   #58
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I'm done with Mike Irwin, but for those unfamiliar with the Thompson Autorifle, Wikipedia has a decent summary on it. Posting from a phone here and am not smart enough to embed a link. That autorifle was a dead end and did not become the Colt Monitor. The Monitor was a BAR variant, again, the Wikipedia article on the BAR gives an OK description.
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Old June 3, 2014, 07:39 PM   #59
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From what I have read and understand, folks seem to have the Pedersen rifle situation reversed. Pedersen did not set out to design an advanced cartridge and then build a rifle to use it. He designed the rifle first, working with his idea that a delayed blowback rifle could be built, and that it would be much simpler and easier to make than a gas operated or recoil operated system.*

But he found that his idea would not work with a cartridge as powerful as the .30-'06, so he scaled down the cartridge in power until he got it to a level that would work in the rifle. The idea was not to advance the state of the art in cartridges, it was to get the maximum power that would not tear the rifle apart.

When the COS decided to retain the .30-'06, Pedersen withdrew his rifle from competition because he knew it couldn't handle the more powerful round.

*Some writers have compared Pedersen's toggle link system with the Luger pistol, but the Luger is short-recoil operated. The Pedersen uses a system operating at a mechanical disadvantage; there is no mechanical lock holding the breechblock closed and the barrel is fixed.

Jim
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Old June 3, 2014, 09:24 PM   #60
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"From what I have read and understand, folks seem to have the Pedersen rifle situation reversed. Pedersen did not set out to design an advanced cartridge and then build a rifle to use it."

At no time did I ever say that Pedersen either set out to develop an advanced cartridge, or did he develop an advanced cartridge.

I said the concept was a step in the right direction.

Forward progress can be as much happenstance as it can be deliberate design.

Further development of the cartridge came about as John Garand began to develop what would become the M 1.



"The Monitor was a BAR variant..."

Oops. So it was.


"I'm done with Mike Irwin..."

Awwww.....
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Old June 3, 2014, 09:35 PM   #61
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Mike Irwin, Joe Demko:

Re the Colt Monitor, was that not a commercial version of the BAR?

As to the soldiers ability with his rifle, I was never in the military. I did however shot NMC competition,1000 yard too for a number of years, likely to many years. I was not that great a shot, but with a Winchester Garand and hand loads,on the 5V target I was able to consistently shoot in the mid 90's out of a possible 100. I'd do about the same with a bolt rifle (Model 70 Winchester),Iron Sights. I cleaned it once, with a scope. With a 308,Model70, at 600 yards,iron sights, I could hold 10 ring elevation, usually dropping a few points to windage. I could not shoot effectively at 1000 yards with a 308, never could understand why, just one of those things. Could not do quite as well at 600 yards with the 30-06. Of course, nobody was shooting at me.

I repeat, I was not that great a rifle shot, and by the way, I never had any sort of formal training, so I'm sort of curious regarding mention of that 5%. Of course, I bow to experience and specific knowledge others might have.
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Old June 3, 2014, 09:41 PM   #62
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"Re the Colt Monitor, was that not a commercial version of the BAR?"

Yes. I had my auto rifles mixed up.
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Old June 3, 2014, 09:58 PM   #63
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"so I'm sort of curious regarding mention of that 5%"

That came from an report (Army?) published sometime in the early 1920s regarding training levels of troops as they were entering basic.

Teddy Roosevelt had been appalled at the lack of marksmanship ability shown by troops during the Spanish American War. Many troops coming out of basic training couldn't shoot any better than when they had gone in simply because of time constraints, bad training programs, and incredibly unrealistic expectations (every American is a natural born sniper!).

Roosevelt was instrumental in creation of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (and the National Matches as we now know them) to help correct that.

Unfortunately, when World War I rolled around, the situation wasn't much better, and once again the United States was under huge time constraints that really ate into training and proficiency development.

When World War II rolled around, we were facing the exact same issue.

The US was going to need literally MILLIONS of trained men, all stemming from a pre-war Army of roughly 100,000 men.

The situation was looking to be dire, until someone in the military got a bright idea... Enlist the National Rifle Association's resources to help train soldiers how to shoot.

NRA helped develop new and improved training programs (which really hadn't been updated since the 1890s and the adoption of the magazine rifle!!!) and provided staff to physically train recruits, freeing up a very limited number of non commissioned instructors for other activities.

I can't remember the total number, but I THINK NRA instructors helped train something like 5 to 7 million new soldiers, and gave them a much better grounding for marksmanship proficiency.
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Old June 6, 2014, 04:51 PM   #64
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Have you ever heard the saying that the American Civil War was the first 20th century war fought with 18th century tactics?

In a lot of ways, it's a true statement.
The Civil War is also known as the war from which nobody learned any lessons.

If you want an early example of an intermediate power cartridge, then the .44 Henry and .56 Spencer rimfires come to mind.

Oh and one of the things that made the Civil War the first modern war in the last couple of years was the shovel.
Late in the war both sides could throw up earth works within a few hours that were impossible to assault with any chance of success.

Which one would think would lead to the mass adoption of easily carried repeating firearms to increase the power of the assault, a kind of assault rifle if I may coin the term.
But one would be wrong.
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Old June 6, 2014, 07:43 PM   #65
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I can't remember the total number, but I THINK NRA instructors helped train something like 5 to 7 million new soldiers, and gave them a much better grounding for marksmanship proficiency.

The oldest member of our Gun Club, perhaps, Sammy remembered being taught in basic by a NRA instructor. He said they all sat around this instructor as he explained aiming, etc. However, the recruits did not get a lot of trigger time: he had a total of two 10 shot periods of familiarization before being shipped out to a combat zone. This was typical for that time of the war, Sammy called himself and his comrades "cannon fodder". This gentlemen was issued a carbine, either on the ship, or just prior, he never had a chance to zero the weapon, until he sighted it in on the beaches of Iwo Jima. His communications unit was wiped out by a Banzai charge, out of 25 men, including a Navaho Code talker, only two came out alive: one of whom was Sammy. Sammy showed me a bayonet wound in his arm from this experience, and a lump on his head from the butt of a Japanese rifle. He still has nightmares which keep him up late at night.

My Uncle, a 101 Airborne Paratrooper, he had eight rounds of familiarization with his M1919 before being dropped over Normandy.

Marksmanship is a skill, and these guys did not get enough shooting to acquire any before going into combat. Sammy, our Iwo veteran, earnestly believes that if his Dad had not taught him to shoot before the war, he would have died on Iwo Jima, or Okinawa.
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Old June 6, 2014, 09:29 PM   #66
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"...some of our Ordnance people were left overs from the Civil War, and believed that only aimed fire commanded and directed by an officer was appropriate."

That may be true, but doesn't really explain the use of cutoffs on such rifles as the Danish Krag and the British Lee. The other explanation has been that the cutoff was put on to keep the soldiers from using up all their ammunition in bursts of wild firing, leaving them helpless.

But contemporary documents indicate a more reasonable explanation. The soldier could fire aimed shots at an enemy while keeping his magazine in reserve for that much-feared situation, the cavalry attack. If that happened while even half of the defending soldiers had empty rifles, the enemy horsemen might well ride right over the defense. But if each defender had only to flip a switch to bring a full magazine into play, the attack would almost certainly fail.

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Old June 7, 2014, 08:00 AM   #67
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His communications unit was wiped out by a Banzai charge, out of 25 men, including a Navaho Code talker, only two came out alive: one of whom was Sammy.
May God grant eternal peace for the souls of those brave men.
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Old June 9, 2014, 01:13 PM   #68
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I have an '03 Mk. 1, and was amazed at how easy it was to find Pedersen mag pouches, the bolt pouch, and the rounds themselves.
Sarco used to sell, as a kit, all the bits to convert a Mk. 1 back to its original configuration, and I think some of those parts are still available.
Fifteen-twenty years ago, there was talk of a reproduction Pedersen device being made in Washington state. There was going to be one chambered for the original cartridge, and one chambered in .32 Auto. I don't think it got very far, and I couldn't even get a reply when I tried contacting the alleged source.
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Old June 9, 2014, 04:03 PM   #69
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Fifteen-twenty years ago, there was talk of a reproduction Pedersen device being made in Washington state.
Would that have been, by any chance, Valkyrie Arms?
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Old June 9, 2014, 08:34 PM   #70
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I don't remember the name, just that it was out on the Olympic Peninsula, and not in the Seattle area.
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Old June 9, 2014, 10:58 PM   #71
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I have heard reports of Pedersen device copies being made in Mexico in the 1960's. Obviously, if one had an original, having a copy made would be a matter of money and time. Any good machine shop should be able to make the thing; it would likely be easier than, say, a Model 1911, and heaven knows everybody and his long-lost brother is making those.

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Old June 10, 2014, 01:46 PM   #72
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For such a low pressure round, things like heat treatment wouldn't be crucial.
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Old June 10, 2014, 07:05 PM   #73
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W.H.B. Smith noted that there is a big difference between what a trained operator does under controlled and non-stressful situations, and what an ordinary soldier does under fire, wearing a gas mask, etc. I suspect for all that we are enamored of it, the Pedersen Device is like the Rifle Grenade-a Great Idea That Doesn't Work.
Regarding the shooting abilities-or lack thereof-in recruits, I wonder if it's more a matter of our being a nation of shooters but not of riflemen. I often wonder how many men had even seen any sort of rifled arm. The Mexican War was fought with smoothbores, the 1st Mississippi Rifles not with standing, I suspect that Central NJ where I am was probably even more heavily wooded back then and the preferred firearm was the smoothbore. Buck and Ball for larger game, birdshot for fowling. Few over 50 yard shots in the woods here even today. And I'm sure the shotgunners here will say their sport requires a different set of shooting skills.
The British had cutoffs on their Lee-Metfords and early Lee-Enfields. They were still practicing volley fire even the first year of the Boer War till they finally wised up. In the case of the Krag and the '03, our military thinking was generally defensive then. Make each shot count, hold the magazine in reserve in case you were rushed.
We did learn some things from the Civil War-the day of the muzzle loader was over, open order fighting was the wave of the future.
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Old June 11, 2014, 01:27 AM   #74
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Regarding the Pedersen device, I could actually see where it would make a lot of sense to use it as close quarters weapon to repel an enemy attack.

Using it during "walking fire" would be totally ineffective; However, in the event of an enemy attack and thrust toward your own trenches, it would make tremendous sense. Semi-auto fire at close ranges would go a long way toward inflicting casualties at a much faster rate than a 5-shot bolt action rifle.
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Old June 11, 2014, 07:23 AM   #75
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"That may be true, but doesn't really explain the use of cutoffs on such rifles as the Danish Krag and the British Lee."

Sure it does, Jim.

Much of America's tactical doctine concerning infantry operations was still coming from Europe, and Civil War infantry drill was virtually lockstep with European manuals of arms.

The apparent thinking was that if it worked in the Civil War, it will still work, and shouldn't be changed.


"The other explanation has been that the cutoff was put on to keep the soldiers from using up all their ammunition in bursts of wild firing, leaving them helpless."

Which goes hand-in-hand with my comment about fire directed by officers. Can't have those pesky unedumukatud grunts actually thinking for themselves.

"But contemporary documents indicate a more reasonable explanation. The soldier could fire aimed shots at an enemy while keeping his magazine in reserve for that much-feared situation, the cavalry attack. If that happened while even half of the defending soldiers had empty rifles, the enemy horsemen might well ride right over the defense. But if each defender had only to flip a switch to bring a full magazine into play, the attack would almost certainly fail."

A concept which was sort of basically sound (it's what led to the famed British Squares) in the days when reloading was a multi-step process and 5 shots a minute was an extremely high rate of fire.

But tactically it falls apart (and is another indication of high-level ordanace officers not being able to see anything but the Civil War) when one considers self-contained cartridges and clip loading.

It also falls apart when one considers the increasingly clear evidence that the machine gun could turn a cavalry charge into a lot of horse steaks for dinner.
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